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    Category: At The Checkout

    The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

    Checks Are Out At The Checkout

    | Portland, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Money, Top

    (I am a cashier at a big grocery store. I have a customer in with her daughter in her mid-teens. The customer writes a check, but because of a store policy, a manager has to override an error that will pop up if the customer does not have at least $700 of checks in the system. My manager is at the check stand right next to me helping a customer, and knows that I need her assistance.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe this is happening again! This happened last time!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. Our system is just very particular. You must write a certain amount of checks or spend a certain amount of money every month in order for it to not need an ID and a manager override. I know it is a pain, and I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “Well this is just f****** ridiculous. I don’t think I’m going to shop here anymore.”

    Me: “Again, I’m sorry that we have to do this. My manager will be here in just a second; she just needs to finish helping another customer.”

    Customer: “And this is just so stupid because I’ve written checks here before!”

    Me: “I understand. Our system is just very picky when it comes to checks and—”

    (At this point the customer begins to dramatically flip through her checkbook, and shoves it in my face so I can see all of the entries.)

    Customer: “SEE?!”

    Me: “Again, I understand, but the system says you only have $300 in the system, and it needs at least $750. I know it is a bit ridiculous, but in the end it is for the company’s and your safety, and there isn’t really anything I can do about it.”

    Customer: “I know it’s not your fault, but—”

    (To my surprise, the customer’s daughter suddenly speaks up in my defense.)

    Customer’s Daughter: “Then why are you being such a b**** to her, mom? You are so embarrassing. Maybe you should use a debit card like normal people. I’ll be in the car waiting.”

    (The mother and I both stare in shock while my manager comes over and runs the check through with no further hassle. Sometimes, it’s nice when someone says exactly what you’re thinking, especially when you can’t say it yourself!)

    Look Into Your Heart You Know It To Be True

    | Lexington, KY, USA | At The Checkout, Love/Romance, Movies & TV, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I’m checking out my items at the front of a store, when a couple bursts in. The girlfriend is clearly upset at her boyfriend.)

    Girlfriend: “You really expect me to be all right with you hanging out with your friends on our one-year anniversary?!”

    Boyfriend: “It’s been a tradition of my friends to do this for over six years! I can take you out any weekend, but [name of his friend] only gets his brother’s VHS copy of the original Star Wars movies once a year, and so we have a marathon! Come on! It has all the original scenes and characters before Lucas screwed it up!”

    Girlfriend: “You all are such nerds! Who cares about the changes! If anything, it made the movies better!”

    Boyfriend: “You haven’t even seen the movies!”

    Girlfriend: “No real girl has! I haven’t, and…” *points at me* “…she hasn’t! Fine! Go ahead with your stupid marathon! I don’t care anymore! Do whatever the h*** you want!”

    (The girlfriend storms down an aisle.)

    Me: *imitating Admiral Ackbar* “It’s a trap!” *imitating C-3PO* “Let the girlfriend win.”

    (Not only did the boyfriend crack up, but the check-out guy gave me his number!)

    Really Creped Out

    | New York, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (I am a customer waiting for a table at a chain restaurant that specializes in breakfast. They are having their annual ‘free pancake day’ promotion. The free pancakes are available only for sit-down customers, not takeout. Another customer approaches the hostess station.)

    Hostess: “Hi, how many?”

    Customer: “Do you do takeout?”

    Hostess: “Do you mean for the free pancakes?”

    Customer: “Why would you even ask me that?!”

    Hostess: “I’m sorry, ma’am; that’s just what everyone else has been asking today.”

    Customer: “Well, I’m not everyone else. You have so many other things on your menu; why would you assume I want pancakes?”

    Hostess: “I’m sorry. Yes, we do takeout.”

    Customer: “Whatever. I don’t even want to eat here anymore. F*** you guys; you disgust me!”

    Refunder Blunder

    | Rochester Hills, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (A customer has walked up to my register carrying a bag from a competitor. We’re a well-known, national chain drugstore and our stores are fairly small. The competitor is a major big box retailer. The names are not similar and our primary color is blue; the competitor’s color is red. The competitor is located on the other end of town.)

    Customer: “I need to make a return.”

    Me: “Okay. Do you have your receipt?”

    Customer: “Yes, it’s still in the bag.”

    (I reach into the bag and find a private brand item from the competitor and a receipt, also from the competitor.)

    Me: “Well, ma’am, unfortunately this item was purchased at another store, so I’m afraid I can’t do a return for you here.”

    Customer: “WHAT?! I bought it here yesterday!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but this is generic brand for a different store. It is not possible you bought it here.”

    Customer: “Yes I did! The receipt is right there!”

    Me: “The only receipt in this bag is from [competitor].”

    Customer: “YES.”

    Me: “You’re at [my store].”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: “Not [competitor].”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: *holding up the circular* “You’re at [my store]. I cannot accept a return from [competitor], as it’s a different company, and this is not a brand that we carry. You need to go to [competitor] to return this item.”

    Customer: “Oh! You’re not [competitor]!”

    John Hancocked And Ready To Fire

    | Naples, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

    (I’m working the register. The pin-pad/card reader is about two weeks old, but the screen has already started to give out. I have been telling customers to be gentle with it, and to tap only once, as there is a pause between verification and the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ buttons going away, leading to a lot of screen mashing.)

    Me: “Good evening! How are you?”

    (I start scanning, and the customer remains silent. I scan all the items and I notice the customer has pulled out a debit card, so I start the little speech.)

    Me: “Okay, please swipe your card, and tap gently and once per button on the screen, as the—”

    Customer: “You know, that’s incredibly rude!”

    Me: “I’m sorry; I wasn’t trying to—”

    Customer: “You were! You are being very rude talking to me like that! I heard when you said that to the other person; you don’t repeat yourself to me!”

    (Other customers in the line start shaking their heads.)

    Me: “I’m very sorry. Please verify—”

    Customer: “STOP TALKING AT ME! I can call a manager over if you keep talking at me!”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (I wait for customer to finish. The customer attacks the pin-pad’s screen during the half-second wait for approval. I don’t say another word, and hand her the receipt. She leaves in a huff. The other customers in the line talk about how rude she was being, and the manager on duty comes up.)

    Manager: “Who was beating up my new cashier?!”


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